Dealing with creditors might be very stressful and frustrating especially when facing the burden of indebtedness with limited ability to repay what you owe. Under such circumstances, you will definitely want to build positive relationships with your creditors to help demonstrate your eagerness to repay your loans as you are able. Such a strategy can also buy additional time to help gather the funds to make your payments.
The first thing that you should do whenever you are facing a financial problem and have missed a payment is to inform your creditor of your situation and offer an apology for your missed installment. You should not wait for them to come to you! Taking such initiative shows sincerity of intent to your creditors rather than that you are running out on your financial obligations. You might also offer to pay the interest for the time being so that it does not accumulate and spiral out of control.
Your creditor may also be willing to offer you a better rate of interest that is more suitable to your current circumstances. Before contacting your creditors, develop a simple plan concerning how you will talk and deal with them. You ought not contact your creditors without any logical explanation for why you have missed one or a couple scheduled payments.
You should also write out the priorities of your bills by listing all your fixed payments and make those at the top of the list your initial payments. The highest priorities would include bills for life necessities, followed by your expenses for extra clothes, recreation, and other discretionary spending.
There are different approaches of creditors concerning late payments. Some might immediately go to a third party collector when you do not pay within a certain period of time. You should consider the benefit of paying these obligations first and perhaps work a little more slowly with others that are more generous and understanding of your situation. Again, your demonstrated sincerity and alternative steps of repayment will go a long way toward influencing a creditor to work with - rather than against - you.
There are different ways to contact your creditors too, though over the phone or even in person are best. You should first work through your conversation mentally and even jot down specific points you want to cover so that you do not forget the details. You will need to listen very carefully to the person representing the creditor and write down anything that seems important. Don't count on your memory alone under the pressure of such an important meeting. You might also venture to ask the creditor for the actions they can take if your payments are further delayed. Better to broach this possibility from the outset than later when the need is immanent.
Additionally, you should be very patient and polite while talking with your creditor. They are in the "power" position, not you. When the conversation is over, you should send an immediate letter confirming the things you have discussed together. This way there is clarity and written accountability if a discrepancy of recollection arises later.
These are only a few basic tips to help you in the midst of an immediate problem. The purpose is to find alternative and more flexible means of repaying your debts but not to escape them.